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Ubisoft Entertainment SA
Formerly called
Ubi Soft Entertainment Software (1986–2003)
Traded as EuronextUBI
Industry Video game industry
Founded 12 March 1986; 30 years ago (1986-03-12) in Carentoir, France
  • Christian Guillemot
  • Claude Guillemot
  • Gérard Guillemot
  • Michel Guillemot
  • Yves Guillemot
Headquarters Rennes, France
Key people
Brands See List of Ubisoft games
Revenue Increase 2,984.786 million[1] (2016)
Increase €561.8 million[2] (2016)
Number of employees
10,000[3] (2016)
Divisions Ubisoft Motion Pictures
Subsidiaries See List of Ubisoft studios
Website ubisoft.com

Ubisoft Entertainment SA (formerly Ubi Soft Entertainment Software until 2003, commonly referred to as Ubisoft) is a French multinational video game developer and publisher, headquartered in Rennes, France. It is known for developing games for several acclaimed video game franchises including Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Just Dance, Rainbow Six, Prince of Persia, Rayman, Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.


In March 1986, five brothers of the Guillemot family founded the video game publisher, Ubisoft, in Carentoir, a small village located in the Morbihan department of the Brittany region, in France.[4] Yves Guillemot soon made deals with Electronic Arts, Sierra On-Line, and MicroProse to distribute their games in France. By the end of the decade, Ubisoft began expanding to other markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. They entered the video game distribution and wholesale markets, and by 1993 they had become the largest distributor of video games in France.[5] In the early 1990s, Ubisoft initiated its in-house game development program, which led to the 1994 opening of a studio in Montreuil, France. It later became their administrative and commercial head office, even as the company continues to register its headquarters in Rennes. Ubisoft became a publicly traded company in 1996 and continued its expansion around the globe, opening locations in Annecy, Shanghai, Milan and Montreal.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ubisoft committed itself to online games by supporting Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, The Matrix Online, and the European and Chinese operation of EverQuest. The publisher established an online division. However, in February 2004, Ubisoft cancelled the online portion of Uru and backed out of the publishing deal on The Matrix Online.

The company is noted for its teams of female game developers/testers, known as the Frag Dolls.

In March 2001, Gores Technology Group sold The Learning Company's entertainment division (which includes games originally published by Brøderbund, Mattel, Mindscape and Strategic Simulations, Inc.) to them. The sale included the rights to intellectual properties such as the Myst and Prince of Persia series.[6] In July 2006, Ubisoft bought the Driver franchise from Atari for a sum of €19 million in cash for the franchise, technology rights, and most assets. In July 2008, Ubisoft made the acquisition of Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based studio renowned for its expertise in the creation of visual effects for cinema, television and advertising. In November 2008, Ubisoft acquired Massive Entertainment from Activision.[7] In January 2013, Ubisoft acquired South Park: The Stick of Truth from THQ for $3.265 million.

In December 2004, rival gaming corporation Electronic Arts purchased a 19.9% stake in the firm, an action Ubisoft referred to as "hostile" on EA's part.[8]

Ubisoft announced plans in 2013 to invest $373 million into its Quebec operations over seven years, a move that will generate 500 additional jobs in the province. The publisher is investing in the expansion of its motion capture technologies, and consolidating its online games operations and infrastructure in Montreal. The significant investment is expected to generate 500 jobs in Quebec over a seven-year period. By 2020, the company will employ more than 3,500 staff at its studios in Montreal and Quebec City.[9]

In March 2015 the company set up a Consumer Relationship Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. The centre is intended to integrate consumer support teams and community managers. Consumer Support and Community Management teams at the CRC are operational seven days a week.[10]

In October 2015, French mass media company Vivendi bought a 6% stake in Ubisoft.[11] In February 2016, Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot and his brother asked for more Canadian investors, to help prevent a hostile takeover by Vivendi.[12][13][14] Earlier in the month, a hostile bid worth €500 million on Gameloft,[15] by Vivendi's chairman Vincent Bolloré raised their stake in Ubisoft to 15%.[12] As of September 2016, Vivendi has increased their holds to 22.8% controlling stake in Ubisoft.[16][17]


Current studios[edit]

Closed studios[edit]


Main article: List of Ubisoft games
Ubisoft stall at Gamescom

Besides publishing their own games, Ubisoft is also publishing famous franchises produced by other important studios for some specific platforms.


Main article: Uplay

Uplay is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications service created by Ubisoft.


Ubisoft had, for a time, used the controversial StarForce copy protection technology that installs drivers on a system and is known to cause hardware and compatibility issues with certain operating systems. On 14 April 2006, Ubisoft confirmed that they would stop using StarForce on their games, citing complaints from customers.[23]

In January 2010, Ubisoft announced the online services platform Uplay, which forces customers to not only authenticate on the first game launch, but to remain online continually while playing, with the game even pausing if network connection is lost. This makes it impossible to play the game offline, to resell it, and meaning that, should Ubisoft's servers go down, the game will be unplayable. In 2010, review versions of Assassin's Creed II and Settlers 7 for the PC contained this new DRM scheme, confirming that it is already in use, and that instead of pausing the game, it would discard all progress since the last checkpoint or save game.[24] However, subsequent patches for Assassin's Creed II allow the player to continue playing once their connection has been restored without lost progress.[25]

In March 2010, outages to the Ubisoft DRM servers were reported, causing about 5% of legitimate buyers to be unable to play Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5.[26][27] Ubisoft initially announced this was the result of the number of users attempting to access their servers to play, but later claimed that the real cause of the outages were denial-of-service attacks.[26][27] In August 2011, Ubisoft released From Dust with DRM protection, contrary to previous statements that the game would not have any DRM related restrictions. After several months, the DRM had still not been removed from copies of the game.[28]

In the February 2008 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, editor-in-chief Dan "EGMShoe" Hsu asserted that Ubisoft had ceased to provide Ubisoft titles to EGM for coverage purposes as a result of prior critical previews and negative reviews.[29][30] Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft, was quoted in the company's third-quarter 2008–09 sales report as saying "as some of our games did not meet the required quality levels to achieve their full potential, they need more sales promotions than anticipated."[31] The company's use of Aaron Priceman, also known as Mr. Caffeine by the internet, as a spokesman at E3 2011 was criticized for his reliance on popular internet references, inability to pronounce Tom Clancy (he pronounced it "Tom Culancy"), sexual innuendos and imitations of video game sound effects with little to no response from the audience.[32]

On 2 July 2013, Ubisoft announced a major breach in its network resulting in the potential exposure of up to 58 million accounts including usernames, email address and encrypted passwords. Although the firm denied any credit/debit card information could have been compromised, it issued directives to all registered users to change their account passwords and also recommended updating passwords on any other website or service where a same or similar password had been used.[33] All the users who registered were emailed by the Ubisoft company about the breach and a password change request. Ubisoft promised to keep the information safe.[34]

After revealing Assassin's Creed Unity at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014, Ubisoft came in for criticism from the gaming community shortly after revealing that the game would not support female characters in co-op gameplay. The criticism was inflamed after they explained the absence of a female co-op or playable character in Far Cry 4: according to Ubisoft Montreal, they were close to making it possible when the decision was taken that they didn't have the right animations for a female character.[35] Among the responses were comments from developers that the explanations given were not valid. Among them were the fact that the protagonists of Assassin's Creed III and its spin-off game Liberation shared a large amount of movement animations. There were also statements that characters in video games tended to move in a similar fashion regardless of gender.[36] An animation director for Assassin's Creed III also said that the stated reasons of workload and animation replacement didn't hold up, saying that it would be "a day or two's work" to create a female character model.[35]


  • In 2008, Ubisoft sued Optical Experts Manufacturing (OEM), a DVD duplication company for $25 million plus damages for the leak and distribution of the PC version of Assassin's Creed. The lawsuit claims that OEM did not take proper measures to protect its product as stated in its contract with Ubisoft. The complaint also alleges that OEM admitted to all the problems in the complaint.[37]
  • In April 2012, Ubisoft was sued by the author of the book Link, John L. Beiswenger, who alleged a copyright infringement for using his ideas in the Assassin's Creed franchise and demanding $5.25 million in damages and wanted to stop the release of Assassin's Creed III that was set to be released in October 2012 along with any future games that allegedly contain his ideas.[38] On 30 May 2012, Beiswenger dropped the lawsuit. Beiswenger was later quoted as saying he believes "authors should vigorously defend their rights in their creative works", and suggested that Ubisoft's motion to block future lawsuits from Beiswenger hints at their guilt.[39]
  • In December 2014, Ubisoft offered a free game from their catalog of recently released titles to compensate the season pass owners of Assassin's Creed Unity due to its buggy launch. The terms offered with the free game revoked the user's right to sue Ubisoft for releasing an unfinished product.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UBISOFT ENTERTAIN". Euronext. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Roquette, Jean-Benoît (11 February 2016). "UBISOFT® REPORTS THIRD-QUARTER 2015-16 SALES" (PDF). Ubisoft. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Ubisoft® FACTS & figures" (PDF). Ubisoft. February 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Willey, Andre (March 1989). "The European Report: Games, Games And More Games". STart. Vol. 3 no. 8. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Quemard, Christine (January 1994). "Behind the Screens at Ubi Soft of France!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 54. EGM Media. p. 174. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Vogel, Cassie (1 March 2007). "Ubi Soft Acquires The Learning Company's Entertainment Division". GameZone. GameZone Next. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Lawton, Adrian (10 November 2008). "Ubisoft® acquires the Assets of Massive Entertainment®". Develop. NewBay Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Feldman, Curt (20 December 2004). "Electronic Arts buys stake in Ubisoft in "hostile" act". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Chapple, Craig (30 September 2013). "Ubisoft investing $370m in Quebec operations". Develop. NewBay Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  10. ^ "Ubisoft invests in new Consumer Relationship Centre in Newcastle". Newcastle City Council. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  11. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (15 October 2015). "Former Activision Owner Vivendi Buys Stakes in Ubisoft and Gameloft". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Van Praet, Nicolas (25 February 2016). "Maker of Assassin's Creed video game turns to Canadian investors to fend off takeover bid". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  13. ^ Chalk, Andy (26 February 2016). "Ubisoft asks Canada to help head off hostile takeover by Vivendi". PC Gamer. Future US. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Schreier, Jason (26 February 2016). "Ubisoft Is Afraid Of A Hostile Takeover". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  15. ^ d'Hauteville, Laure (18 February 2016). "Gameloft's Reaction". Gameloft. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  16. ^ http://variety.com/2016/biz/global/vivendi-ups-stake-french-vidgame-ubisoft-1201816056/
  17. ^ http://variety.com/2016/digital/global/vivendi-becomes-ubisofts-majority-shareholder-will-seek-board-representation-in-2017-1201873831/
  18. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (September 28, 2016). "Ubisoft buys mobile game company behind Threes clone, 2048". Eurogamer. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  19. ^ Makuch, Eddie (9 June 2016). "After 18 Years, Ubisoft Shutting Down Its Studio in Morocco". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  20. ^ Graft, Kris (29 September 2010). "Ubisoft: Brazilian Operations Will 'Ramp Down' By Year-End". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  21. ^ Reilly, Jim (17 January 2012). "Ubisoft Closes Vancouver Studio". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  22. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (29 March 2006). "Wolfpack Studios being shut down". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  23. ^ Thorsen, Tor (13 April 2006). "Ubisoft officially dumps Starforce". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  24. ^ Reilly, Jim (18 February 2010). "Assassin's Creed II PC Requires Constant Internet Connection". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  25. ^ Yam, Marcus (5 March 2010). "Ubisoft Patch Makes its Internet DRM Less Painful". Tom's Hardware. Purch Group. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  26. ^ a b Chalk, Andy (8 March 2010). "Ubisoft Blames DRM Outage on "Server Attack"". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  27. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (8 March 2010). "Ubisoft DRM was "attacked" at weekend". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  28. ^ McElroy, Justin (18 August 2011). "From Dust PC players erupt in anger over port". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  29. ^ Plunkett, Luke (9 January 2008). "3 Companies Bar EGM From Coverage Following Poor Reviews". Kotaku Australia. Allure Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  30. ^ Hsu, Dan (9 January 2008). "Banned". 1UP.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  31. ^ Roquette, Jean-Benoît (22 January 2009). "Ubisoft® reports third-quarter 2008-09 sales" (PDF). Ubisoft. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  32. ^ Sterling, Jim (14 June 2011). "Are publishers doing E3 badly on purpose?". Destructoid. ModernMethod. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  33. ^ "Ubisoft warns millions of video gamers of hack attack". BBC News. BBC. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  34. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (2 July 2013). "Ubisoft Website Hacked". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  35. ^ a b Ray Corriea, Alexa (11 June 2014). "Far Cry 4 devs were 'inches away' from women as playable characters". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  36. ^ LeJacq, Yannick (6 November 2014). "Ubisoft In Trouble Over Comments About Female Characters". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  37. ^ Sung, Lydia (7 August 2008). "Ubisoft suing over Assassin's Creed leak". Neoseeker. Neo Era Media. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  38. ^ Magder, Jason (25 April 2012). "Montreal-based company Ubisoft target of $5-million copyright lawsuit". Global News. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  39. ^ Orland, Kyle (19 April 2012). "Sci-fi author sues Ubisoft over Assassin's Creed copyright infringement". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  40. ^ Makuch, Eddie (23 December 2014). "Assassin's Creed Unity Free Game Offer Waives Lawsuits". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 

External links[edit]